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​Press Releases

June 16
YVC hosts 34th annual Washington Wine Competition

​Yakima Valley College's Vineyard and Winery Technology Program will host the 34th annual Washington State Wine Competition on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. The event will be held in the Grandview Campus Activity Center, Building 52. It will feature over 200 wine entries including five from YVC's Teaching Winery, Yakima Valley Vintners.​

This event was originally operated by the Central Washington State Fair (1980-2015), but was discontinued when longtime competition director Ruth Anglin retired. The event is now being operated by Great Northwest Wine, a media company based in Richland, Washington. It is owned by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue, two veteran wine journalists. Both judge wine up and down the West Coast and operate several competitions each year throughout the Pacific Northwest. Information provided by:

The Washington State Wine Competition is also a fundraiser for the next generation of Washington winemakers. All proceeds from the judging will fund scholarships for winemaking programs at Yakima Valley College, Washington State University, South Seattle and Walla Walla Community College.

For more information about Yakima Valley Vintners and the Yakima Valley College Vineyard and Winery Technology Program: or call 509.882.7007.

June 09
New YVC Monument Sign Placed at 16th Avenue & Nob Hill Boulevard

​The busy intersection at 16th Avenue & Nob Hill Boulevard in Yakima is about to look quite different, as Yakima Valley College installs a 6-ft tall aluminum sign featuring the college's new name.

Photo Op:​

When: Saturday, June 10th, 6:30am – 7:00am

Where: At the corner of 16th Avenue & Nob Hill Boulevard, in front of the Larson Gallery on the campus of Yakima Valley College

Visuals: Workers from Eagle Signs in Yakima will install a large aluminum monument sign, beginning at 6:00am with the final product ready for photographs around 7:00am ​

In 2016 YVC embraced a new name (dropping the word "Community") and a modernized logo. The installation of the monument sign at the corner of 16th Avenue & Nob Hill Boulevard is the first of several new campus sign installations in the coming weeks. 

June 08
YVC Celebrates 88th Commencement Ceremony on June 15, 2017

Yakima Valley College will host its 88th Commencement Ceremony on June 15, 2017 at 7:00pm in the Yakima Valley SunDome. The graduating class of 2017 includes 1,084 students ranging in age 17 to 67. Nineteen of the students are Veterans and 163 are Running Start students, simultaneously earning their high school diploma and an associate degree. The college will award a total of 1,303 degrees and certificates including bachelor of applied science, transfer degrees, professional/technical degrees, and certificates.

This year's keynote address will be presented by Mr. Charles Ross. Ross was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and moved to the Yakima Valley at the age of 3. He graduated from Naches Valley High School in 1990. Following high school, he served in the United States Navy from 1990-1994. He later earned an associate in arts degree from YVC and an associate in arts degree in funeral director/mortuary science from Mount Hood Community College. Ross is a licensed funeral director who worked in the field for 18 years before being elected to the office of Yakima County Auditor in 2014.

The student commencement speech will be delivered by YVC graduate Ms. Danielle Niemann. A Running Start student, Niemann has completed her associate in arts degree and received her high school diploma. Niemann was born in Madisonville, Kentucky. She moved to the Yakima Valley with her family shortly after she was born. She's lived in various areas including West Valley, Tieton, and Naches. She had been home schooled her entire life, but when her older sisters began attending YVC's Running Start Program and she saw their success, Niemann knew it was something she also wanted to be a part of. Following YVC she plans to take some online courses in communication and philosophy while working to save money for her education. Niemann plans to transfer to Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia where she plans to pursue a degree in worship ministry.

The college also honors faculty and outstanding community members with the following awards:

  • Faculty Emeritus Award: Mr. Robert McCutcheon, retired YVC Philosophy Instructor
  • Distinguished Service Award: John I. Haas, Inc.

The Yakima Valley College Foundation has the tradition of presenting three awards during the commencement ceremony:

  • Robert M. Leadon Excellence in Teaching: Dr. Heidi Shaw, YVC Psychology Instructor
  • Sherrie and Daryl Parker Faculty Award: Ms. Shannon Hopkins, YVC English Instructor
  • Classified Employee of the Year: Ms. Laura Yolo, YVC Upward Bound Program Coordinator

The Yakima Valley College Alumni Association will honor an alum. This year's award recipient is:

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award: Ms. Maxine Janis, President's Liaison for Native American Affairs and Associate Professor at Heritage University

For additional details, including complete bios and photographs of the speakers and award recipients visit ​

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June 07
YVC Announces New Grandview Campus Dean

Yakima Valley College is pleased to announce the appointment of a new administrator to oversee the Grandview Campus. Dr. Marcia Somer brings over 25 years of experience in the area of higher education, specifically community and technical colleges.​

Dr. Marcia Somer
Dr. Marcia Somer has worked in higher education's community and technical colleges for the past 25 years. Her most recent experience was as Associate Dean of Instruction at Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland, Washington. Prior to that, Dr. Somer was a Dean of English and Social Sciences and Dean of Instruction at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California, and Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, Washington respectively. Dr. Somer has overseen many technical workforce programs such as architectural and mechanical design, computer networking and systems security, web and animation design and production, education, culinary and baking arts, wine technology, business, and dental and dental hygiene. She has also overseen basic skills, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, campus child care center, library, tutoring and assessment centers, and continuing education.  Dr. Somer's educational background includes a Doctorate of Philosophy from Oregon State University in Education – Community College Leadership, Master of Arts in Child and Family Studies from Washington State University, and Bachelor of Science in Human Development from the University of Hawaii. Three of her proudest accomplishments are establishing a diversity course graduation requirement, receiving the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Education, and parenting two children, both graduates of Western Washington University. 

YVC_Dr. Marcia Somer.jpg

June 06
YVC’s Vineyard & Winery Technology Program Takes Gold at Seattle Wine Competition

Yakima Valley Vintners (YVV), YVC's teaching winery, submitted four wines and received four awards at the 2017 Seattle Wine Competition this month. YVV's 2014 Science Fair Carménére received a gold medal along with the 2014 Dean's List Red Blend. The 2014 Full Circle Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2016 Textbook White Gewürztraminer each garnered silver medals.

All award winning wines submitted by Yakima Valley Vintners were produced by students completing course work in YVC's Vineyard & Winery Technology program. The wines are marketed through the program at YVC's Grandview Campus which houses a winery facility and tasting room. All wines submitted were judged blindly by a panel of prominent wine professionals. YVC student wines are included with all of the other commercial wineries during the competition.

Seattle Wine Awards is Washington State's most prestigious wine awards program. In April, Washington's most prominent wine professionals gather at Seattle's historic Rainier Club to taste and evaluate white, red, sweet, sparkling and rosé wines produced from Washington grapes. This esteemed group includes respected wine directors, buyers, distributors, educators and Seattle's top sommeliers. The top wines are recognized with Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze Grand Awards of Excellence.

Check out all the winners online at:

For more information, please visit:​

For more information about Yakima Valley Vintners and the Yakima Valley College Vineyard and Winery Technology Program: or call 509.882.7007.

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Yakima Campus

S.16th Ave & Nob Hill Blvd.
Yakima, WA 98902

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500 West Main Street
Grandview, WA 98930-1284


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